Students lend a hand

FAIRMONT — Now more than ever, technology is prevalent in education. Schools have brought in digital devices and digital content for students and educators, and there are many programs available to help both students and teachers succeed.

However, it’s no longer just the teachers teaching the students. In this day and age, students often have a better understanding of new technology.

One such student, Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School seventh-grader Caden Lebert made a presentation to interested teachers during what’s being called “Tech Tip Tuesday.”

Caden first gave a presentation to his fellow classmates during Fairmont Academic Support Time (F.A.S.T) in Anne Holmes’ science classroom earlier in the school year. Holmes had been giving a presentation to her class using Google Drawing, an app, and Caden pointed out that there were several shortcuts that Holmes could use. Holmes explained that they often use Chromebooks in class, and she figured she and the other students could benefit from learning shortcuts.

A day was set up for Caden and a fellow classmate, Brayden Koch, to present Chromebook and Google shortcuts, and interested students could come to the presentation.

“That was the first time we’ve ever had a learner-led workshop here,” explained Holmes, adding that she noticed the students seemed more engaged because it was a peer up there teaching them.

Holmes was impressed with the presentation and brought it up at a faculty meeting. From there, it’s become an idea many teachers are open to.

High school science teacher and Caden’s father, Steve Lebert, has helped organize different presentations. Lebert explained that people who know quite a bit about a certain program have either come forward themselves asking if they can present to those interested, or others who have noticed an individual’s strengths in a certain program have asked them if they would give a presentation.

Some of the programs and technology that have been topics during Tech Tip Tuesday are Google and Chromebook shortcuts; Quizlet; Google Forms; Quizizz; Purpose Games; and Snipping Tool.

“I could go out there and find out about it on the internet, but if there’s someone here that can teach me, that’s great,” Lebert said.

Both teachers and students have made presentations to interested teachers throughout the school year.

“It’s a way of supporting each other,” said Lebert, explaining that everyone has an area where they are more of an expert.

After Caden presented to fellow classmates, time was set up so he could present shortcuts to interested teachers as well.

“If they have seven hours of work, having a shortcut could take off an hour so they have time to work on other things,” said Caden, explaining that he wanted to be able to help teachers.

Caden admitted he was pretty nervous before his first presentation because he had never presented to teachers before. It’s one thing to give a presentation and have teachers come listen; it’s another thing to know that the teachers are utilizing what you taught them.

“They’re actually using what I taught,” said Caden, admitting that knowing that is pretty cool.

Senior Lucas Simpson is another student who has presented a program, Quizlet, to interested teachers. Quizlet is a mobile and web-based study application.

Simpson said he was first introduced to the program by a teacher two years ago. About a year ago, Simpson needed to learn a lot of terms for a class, so he utilized the program to help him study. Since then, he has used the program to study for many different classes, even though it is not required by any of his teachers.

While he first started using Quizlet as a benefit to himself, Simpson says that since then his classmates have been able to view his notes online and it’s helped them too.

“It guides you how to learn,” he explained.

Lebert heard Simpson was knowledgeable in Quizlet and asked him to present. A handful of teachers came to the presentation knowing Quizlet is a great study tool that can benefit their students.

During the learner-led workshop, it is amazing to notice that teachers sit through the presentation and ask questions, not to test the student’s knowledge, but because they themselves are seeking information.

“When you can teach something to others, that’s when you know you’ve got a good and deep understanding of the subject,” said Principal Kim Niss.